I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ.
Roots for a plant are like an anchor. They have the task of securing a plant in the ground. Through whatever conditions be it wind or rain or snow or darkness, the roots are what keep a plant anchored. It keeps it upright no matter what is thrown at it. When something comes through that is strong enough it will rip up some plants but the ones that had strong enough roots will remain standing.
For the Christian, our anchor is Jesus Christ. Every Christian is rooted in Christ Jesus for salvation and to the extent that a Christian digs deep roots in their walk with Christ they will have a life that truly images what is already an inward reality of the transformation that one goes through when they are regenerated and saved by the power of Christ.
When the tough times come, those that have the strong roots in Christ will hold firm while those who have other roots, weak roots, they will be torn up and blown away.
The Colossian church much like every other church was dealing with false Christians and false teaching among them. People would come in and claim to be Christian but when the hard times and trials of life would come they would be uprooted and blown away because they were not rooted in Christ.
And see sometimes some of these false Christians or false teachers look very good on top of the soil. Some plants and some people can look really pretty and look like they have it all together on the top but the fires of life will reveal that they don’t’ have good roots. That is ultimately the difference between a real Christian and one that is not. It all comes down to the roots.
If it were not for being rooted in Christ and being instructed in the Word of God it would be easy for us to be carried away and deceived by all manner of false teaching and false professions. However, Paul says that he says what he does and we are taught what we are taught so that we won’t be deluded by what may seem like a really nice plant on the top but really has no good roots or genuine foundation beneath.
Paul is saying that the evidence and fruit of a true Christian won’t have just the appearance of being born again but that they will genuinely demonstrate what being born again actually looks like being rooted in Christ.
Paul says that the Colossian believer’s faith was so rooted in Christ and growing so well that even though he was not with them physically, he was rejoicing over the news of the good order/discipline and stability of their faith in Christ. This means that their Christian reputation and their testimony and the perception of them was one of growing and walking in Christ. It was one of having strong, deep roots in the Christ.
What is the reputation of your Christian life?
What is the perception of your Christian walk?
What is the reputation of this church?
What is the perception of this church?
Have you ever thought about it? Have you ever considered it? What do you think it is? We need to be about the business of being so firmly rooted in Christ and growing and walking in Him that everyone will truly know what kind of plant we are.
Sadly, I think that if Paul were to write a letter to us today he wouldn’t be able to say the same thing he said to the Colossian believers. Is the perception and the reputation of your church one of imaging Christ or imaging self. Is your church inward focused or focused on the status quo or in full-on preservation mode? Are you stuck in a cycle that may have been going on for decades that has completely stunted the spiritual and numeric growth of your church?
You see, if the roots of a plant or a tree run into something that keeps the roots from going deep and wide as necessary then the plant or tree will never be able to grow as big as it should. When a church runs into problems or sicknesses that keep the roots of strength in Christ from going as deep as they should then the results start showing on the surface and eventually that creates a reputation or perception.
We have so many opportunities before us… The problem is that if we take every attempt to create change for the better and block it then what we are saying is that we have determined that we will “allow” growth but it has to come in this small pocket or window over here.
I just finished a book where the author said that in his lifetime he has seen two genuine, real, life-changing revivals. Both times it came from people in pews and involved a real and substantial change that shook the very foundations of the dead-end cycles that had been established in the churches he was in. It wasn’t easy and it was met with real resistance but the people so desperately wanted to see God move in their midst that they finally got the courage to stand up against that resistance and as a result, they saw major revival because they were rooted in Christ and they finally started living it! Instead of preaching a sermon they became a LIVING SERMON!
How do we go about living like Christians who have strong deep roots in Christ?
Walk in Him (v.6) – lead or conduct your life according to Christ.
Having been firmly rooted – completed action; salvation, justification.
Now being built up in Him – present tense; ongoing action, build upon a foundation.
As we walk in Christ we are established and strengthened in our faith. This means that the stability and the strength of our faith are found in the roots of our faith which is in Christ.
As we walk in Christ and are led by the Holy Spirit, as we are built up in Him, we will begin to overflow with gratitude and joy to Christ for what He is doing in our lives.
Don’t settle. We have roots in the ground that the unsaved do not. We can accomplish things in this life for Christ by His power that are beyond our imagination. And when the storms and trials of life come our way we will hold up, we will stand upright and be strong in Christ. He will be our strength when we need it!
I want to see God do great things in our lives and in our churches but we must be willing to let Christ lead us and let Him open us up to all of the possibilities right in front of us and then we must be willing to obey and serve in every capacity that He lays out in front of us. Otherwise, the strong roots that we have in the ground will never spring up into anything beautiful above the ground.